Forums Discussions Forearm pain while doing bracket holds

  • Forearm pain while doing bracket holds

    Posted by ShyGirl on August 31, 2009 at 2:11 am

    I have been taking pole classes for about 3 months now and I’ve moved into a higher level where we are now doing bracket holds. This is where one hand goes far low and the other far high. My low arm that holds a lot of weight has been feeling pain during moves such as (and I’m sorry if I am calling them something different than most people would know them, but maybe you will know what I’m talking about) the Peter Pan, and Diamond.

    The pain is not in my elbow or wrist. It feels more like an all-over bone pain. My instructor said that some pressure is normal, but I think it’s more than pressure. It’s pretty intense while I’m doing the moves, and yesterday my forearms hurt all day after class. Thankfully they feel OK, after a night sleep.

    I am wondering if this is somewhat normal? I know I am weaker than most people at my level when it comes to pullups, so I am wondering if this is being caused by me not holding more of my weight up with my upper hand grip. My upper body has been getting stronger and stronger, but it was very weak when I started, and still is quite weak compared to my lower body. (I can run a 5k, etc.)

    My instructor has told us to release ‘down’ so as to not get tennis elbow effects as well. I just wonder if anyone else has encountered this pain? I do not get it while doing handstands or planks or pushups. And I don’t believe I am hyperextending my elbow.

    Thanks everyone for any tips/ideas you might have!!

    Kandipole replied 14 years, 7 months ago 12 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • Lucyloo

    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I’m not entirely sure what moves you are refering to, but with the bracket hold or split grip, your bottom hand should be pushing you away from the pole only, and not taking any weight at all. If you can’t hold yourself with the top hand only I think you are likely to injure your wrist. I would say don’t use this grip until you are stronger, and if it hurts your wrist at all work on something else for a while. Good luck!

  • RoxyPink

    August 31, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    STOP!!!! If it hurts…your not ready for it!!! Split grips(bracket grip, diamond grip…) all require a good bit of strength and flexibility in the wrist/forearm/elbow! The bottom arm in split grips is not for supporting your weight, it’s for pushing your body away from the pole! If you do split grips and you are not "ready" for them, you can SERIOUSLY hurt yourself!!! It’s best to build strength (nice and slow) and then progress to split grips. Everything that you are being taught with a split grip can be done with a baseball grip/buddy grip. THERE IS NO MOVE THAT HAS TO BE DONE WITH THIS GRIP!

    When I first started pole I seriously hurt my forearms so bad that I had to take a 4mth break!! I couldn’t even pick up a pop can with out being in extreme pain.

    Another thing, even if you take a break from split grips, make sure to thouroughly warm up your hands and forearms…this will help prepare them!!

    Don’t try to "work" through the pain. I am a little dissapointed that your instructor has given you an alternative grip to use!

  • ShyGirl

    August 31, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you Lucyloo and Roxy-Pink for your comments!! I will take your advice and go more slowly and cut out the bracket holds for a while until I am a bit stronger. No, my instructor didn’t offer me an alternative hold but then again I wasn’t sure if what I was experiencing was pain, and that’s what I told them, so they weren’t too concerned. I told her I was feeling something, but I wasn’t sure if it was pressure or pain. Now I know it was pain because it lasted longer than class for the first time. The last thing I want to do is injure myself. I’m pretty sure this is caused by not being strong enough in my top grip. So I will work on strengthening that. Hopefully I won’t look like too much of a putz in class for not doing the holds that cause me pain.

  • LittleC

    September 1, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Be careful and take your time – in the meanwhile, a frozen bag of peas pressed to your forearm will make it feel better. Please don’t worry about looking like a putz for using a different grip – your instructor would rather than than you get hurt! Good luck!

  • Mindy4pole

    September 1, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I also get this pain BIG time. I pretty much avoid doing it, even when my instructor says to. I just don’t feel like I should chance injuring myself. That said… can anyone explain alternative grips?

    The pose that hurts me the most is stationary spread eagle. I can sort of do the spinning version, I think, because the centrifugal force of spinning is holding me away from the pole, relieving pressure on the bottom forearm.

    What exercises increase the strength in the upper arm for this move?

    Thanks SO much!

  • RoxyPink

    September 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    For a stationary V you can have your dom hand up high and your sub arm about shoulder height…both hands have thumbs up. I find that if you run the pole along the forearm of your sub hand this helps with keeping you up but also holding you away from the pole. I know a picture/video would help explain this alot better.

    oh…and working on a one-handed chair spin will REALLY help with the strength of that top arm!

  • StellaBella

    September 4, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Is it your forearm? Your forearm is not built to hold so much weight. The muscle is small and weak. If you are holding your bottom arm with your fingers down (pointed to ground, like a catcher in baseball) you are putting way too much weight on this poor little muscle. You need to switch the placement of your hand so that your fingers are wrapped around the pole. This is more difficult, as you will now need to use more core and leg strength in your tricks, but at least you are saving your arm!!

  • Angel1201

    September 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    There is a lot of info on here about forearm pain and bracket grips, but what about forearm pain from doing aysha, cartwheel mount, or handspring mount, or twisted grip mount. There is a lot of pressure on that lower arm that really can’t be avoided. Does anyone have any advise on that subject?

  • isabella

    September 14, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve been pole dancing for years and consider myself strong…about a year ago that same problem started for me…I went to an occupational therapist (they specialize in hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow issues). They helped me get better with massage, anti-inflammatories, and rest. Unfortunately they told that no matter how you hold your hand for this grip it is bad for your entire arm…period. Fingers down, or thumb around, this grip is bad for you. So to compromise with my body I do not use this grip as much as I used to and I find this works well. I was really bummed to hear it but I’m glad I found out before I did more damage.

  • Angel1201

    September 14, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Isabella, that is so great of you to share. I feel like all us pole dancers are venturing into unknown territory as far as injuries go. I wish I could get a O.T. or P.T. to come into class and say no, not that way, this way. I wish what you wrote isn’t true, but I guess I have to respect that and start changing or eliminating some of the things I do in class.

  • isabella

    September 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I know! My approach to it is that all sports and dance forms pose risk of injury…some a little more than others. I fully understand that even with the highest safety precautions taken, I will still most likely come across the occasional acute trauma as well as long-term/chronic conditions (i.e. arthritis, joint pain) from years of pole dancing. But every athlete/dancer that really loves their sport/art and wants to become as advanced in it as they possibly can accepts this "bittersweet" deal. I still do bracket holds and knee holds (like princess and cupid, that are not so nice on the knees) I just cut back on the quantity of how often I do them (I don’t believe in pushing yourself beyond your limits nor do I wish to live in chronic pain!) We all make quite amazing commitments and sacrifices to be pole dancers…we are a unique breed!

  • Angel1201

    September 15, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Lucky for me, I feel the most beautiful part of pole dancing is the simple foot work around the pole and the floor work. I enjoy watching that and doing that much more than tricks. Some of the dancers that strike me most are the ones that DANCE and throw in the occasional mind-blowing trick.

    It sucks that injuries are trial and error. I’ve learned the most about safety through my own injuries. One of these days someone is going to put out a great video of pole safety – and I’ll be the first to buy it!!

  • carriej

    November 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Yeah, I know this forearm pain well. Years of hard rock climbing led to tendonitis in my left elbow and just like Roxy I couldn’t even pick up a soda. It’s one of the most common injuries that climbers get. I tried to push through the pain and eventually had to take a couple months off. I found that wearing an elbow tendonitis band on my forearm most of the day helped as well as anti-inflamatories.

    The tendonitis seems to be starting up again with pole. Even when I try to modify moves so less weight is on my left arm, it still hurts. Sometimes, simple things like one armed spins hurt my left arm. So, I think I’m going to try to find a balance between taking it easy but not completely limiting myself. I plan to start wearing the band again for extra support.

  • Angel1201

    November 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Carrie, I feel your pain. I’m wearing that same brace (it makes a debut in my latest video). I wish I could go back in time and not push myself so hard when I was fatigued and not fully warm. I’m going on 3 months and the pain is still present and I am so much weaker. I tried doing my cartwheel mount and I’ve lost it. I’m sad to hear that so long after your rock climbing that the pain is coming back. Boooooooooooo! I hate tendonitis!!!

  • Kandipole

    June 10, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I know this chat is long over, but maybe someone else will stumble upon it!
    I have experienced the same pain and know of many other that have. Speaking to my chiropractor this is a "normal" pain for what we are doing. The reason being is that the bottom arm, although it is pushing you away from the pole, it is still taking some weight, you are pushing away from the pole – pushing your weight away.
    The muscles in the forearm are not meant to take weight and as women we do not "work" our forearms intentionally like men sometimes do.
    What is haapening, is the muscle are getting extremly tight in the forearm and are pulling in the wrong direction and pulling too tight. The pain feels like a stress fracture or something and can be scary at first.
    With a lot of massage and rest, 30 min massaging each forearm, this will get better.
    I found that with the massaging techniquies I was able to the the split grip, or bracket hold, without pain. If I overuse that grip it will come back, but not nearly as bad as before.

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